As the biggest freeride mountain bike festival in the world, Crankworx pulls some of the biggest athletes and names in the industry.
While the international action sports media descends on Whistler every year to report results and interview the stars, TELUS Local Community Programming decided to take a different approach for its three Crankworx-themed online videos by making the first two episodes about attending locals.
The first episode, titled Brad’s Big Day, follows local amateur mountain bike racer Brad Bethune as he prepares for then attempts the five stage, 40 km Crankworx Enduro race. With no sponsorship support for his equipment or race fees, Bethune is in the “privateer” class of racer that has to work a regular full time job and train in the evenings in order to be in shape for the races on weekends.
“I was (initially) surprised by the feedback, but now that I think about it, it’s actually not that surprising. When was the last time they showcased an amateur rider?” said Bethune, who owns his own local landscaping business. “Everyone glorifies the pros, but the reality is that it’s fairly unobtainable to get free stuff and get paid (to ride). Maybe we don’t have the time or the skill, but we love to do it just the same.”
One thing that amateur racers such as Bethune need to be mindful of when racing on the weekends is work on the Monday morning. Crashing and getting injured isn’t really an option for Bethune if he wants to keep his landscape business running.
“If you’re serious about having your own business or supporting a family, that comes first,” said Bethune. “After that you can have your fun, but you need to choose your risks wisely; it’s pretty easy to get hurt out there. And then what? Everyone in Whistler is a thrill seeker. That’s the reason why we’re here. Play smart and keep playing is the name of the game.”
The second episode, called 8 Awesome Things with the Goldstones, follows the Goldstone family and their obsession with riding and racing their bikes in the Sea to Sky corridor. The interest in recording the TELUS webisode on the family was sparked after the eldest of the siblings, Bailey, 12, was interviewed by Global TV during the Kidsworx events at Crankworx.
“They were really impressed with the way Bailey spoke so Crankworx asked her to do a couple more little TV appearances,” said Ron, father of the Goldstone clan. “So it was because of my daughter’s really personable television presence that they thought this whole thing on all of us would be interesting.”
Jackson Goldstone, 10, has become a child mountain biking phenom of sorts, which all started after a YouTube feature of Jackson jumping and dropping ledges on his run bike back in 2010 went viral, all while he was still in kindergarten. The TELUS video features recent footage of Jackson landing 360s and backflips in the Aerodome, as well as hitting the sizeable jumps in the Whistler Bike Park with pro rider Cam McCaul.
“He just lived on that (run bike),” said Ron. “We spent years and years just him and me riding a curb or a tiny one foot jump. Now we can barely keep up with him.”
The third episode, released on Tuesday (Dec. 16) follows the journey of Canadian pro racer and former King of Crankworx Steve Smith. To watch all three episodes head to the TELUS OptikLocal YouTube Channel.